Basic Black: Tales of Appropriate Fear

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The everyday and ordinary show an unexpected malignant side in this collection of 18 uniquely disturbing tales of the fantastic. Dowling grounds his tales in mundane situations, then pulls back slowly to reveal (as the narrator of "Scaring the Train" calls them) "those moments of incidental framing reality where every commonplace surprises you." In "Cheat Light," a roll of film left in a pawnshop camera reveals images of an otherworldly origin. "Clownette" tells of a peculiar blotch on a hotel wall that proves to be something much worse than the harmless mildew stain it's mistaken for. "Maze Man," whose protagonist is trapped in an invisible maze that only he cannot penetrate, is one of several stories in which architecture motifs suggest alternate realities encroaching on our own. This is Dowling's first U.S. collection after several in his native Australia, and the selection of stories new and old makes for one of the year's more satisfying dark fantasy reads. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587671234
  • Publisher: Cemetery Dance Publications
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2008

    There's someone Mr. Dowling would like you to meet ...

    A fresh prose tide from Australasia is hitting us--Richard Flanagan from Tasmania, Witi Ihimaera from New Zealand, and Terry Dowling from Australia are just a few. One of the biggest waves in terms of imagination, craft and sheer wonder, Terry Dowling has a five-star volume that spans twenty years of his sure-handed storytelling, BASIC BLACK:TALES OF APPROPRIATE FEAR. In it, inner worlds are transformed by transgression, sudden disclosure, and the fantastic. The addictive tales include: The Daemon Street Ghost-Trap, Downloading, The Bullet That Grows in the Gun, The Gully, The Bone Ship, Beckoning Nightframe, Stitch, La Profonde, The Saltimbanques, They Found The Angry Moon, Clownette, The Ichneumon and the Dormeuse, The Quiet Redemption of Andy the House, The Maze Man, One Thing About the Night, Jenny Come to Play, Cheat Light, Scaring the Train. One caution--don't read them at night or in the house alone, and never in a hotel room, especially if a blotch on the wall is sighted. Terry Dowling is the most skilled creator of trustworthy, tea-sipping, even chatty villains in a generation, so beware. I have been taken down 'figuratively' by a few. If I had to pick three favorite tales from the superb offerings, I'd choose 'The Bone Ship', 'Clownette', and 'The Saltimbanques,' a story beyond surprising that rivals Bradbury's best. BASIC BLACK was a 2007 Bram Stoker Award finalist and a 2007 International Horror Guild Award winner. You can hear this modern master read a new stunning tale ''Jarkman at the Othergates'' from another anthology, EXOTIC GOTHIC - FORBIDDEN TALES FROM OUR GOTHIC WORLD, by Googling 'Stories Exotic Gothic'. Thereafter when you read any of his work, you will always hear his inimitable voice that charms and warms as it conjures and unsettles. Some rare voices carry where an artist's been and what he's dreamed, as Terry Dowling's does. All those moments of earliest discovery, from his days of exploring Aussie bushland, to roaming past a madhouse at Bedlam Point, to gazing at a cemetery called the Field of Mars, are not lost, but lived again with each word.

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